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Wiki Natural House Proposal — 5 Comments

  1. If Jason is going to build in the UK, then he will need heating from October to March, when the sun here is too low to provide reliable heat.

    A suggestion is that the plans should make available an option for builders who need additional heating in the winter, in the form of a rocket stove with benches. As the benches associated with a rocket stove are substantial, then the ideal situation would be to include these in a version of the plans from the start for those people who need them.

    In the UK, a conventional metal stove is likely to be expensive especially if new, so a rocket stove would keep the budget reasonable. Maybe Leslie and Ianto at rocketstoves.com could give advice about the above suggestion ?

    Regards, Phil

    • Projects like this take a long time and often get side tracked as life has a way of throwing curve balls at us. But people don’t have to wait for this project to be finished. Start your own project. Start a blog and share your plans and ideas. And remember most of the building details are here on our blog or elsewhere on the Internet for free.

  2. I love the concept of a DIY Natural House Wiki.

    Putting up house plans is an excellent beginning, and very important.

    I suggest that the potential is there to do more. A lot more. It also need not require a huge investment in time or web resources either.

    I offer as a concept model another website, http://www.diyelectriccar.com/

    That website is dedicated to diy construction. In their case, constructing your own electric car, and not a house. I encourage thinking about using many of their ideas in building a wiki AND DATABASE of Natural buildings.

    Note that website has a blog of articles highlighting various people’s projects and news of interest. (Kinda like this blog site, but for electric cars.) So that portion already exists and doesn’t need any alterations. Owen and Kelly are doing a fantastic job already.

    Look at the menu at the top of the diyelectriccar page. Take particular note of the GARAGE option. Trust me… look closely at their garage. Then consider what that database might look like for diy and natural houses instead of cars.

    Imagine a listing of DIY home building projects, where anyone anywhere can input a listing for their own project. They can input relevant data about costs, type of construction, location information, where they acquired materials, etc. They also can provide a link to their own personal webpage, blog, youtube account, etc about their own project.

    I don’t know what web service diyelectric car is using to implement that database of cars, but I suspect that same service, or one similar could be implemented as a companion to this blog site.

    The content of that database would be added by everyone. Everyone building a home that they are proud of and want to show the world could add their own listing.

    Imagine a prospective diy natural home builder sorting that database by … say for example earthbag houses, under $5000, in rainy climates, with 2 bedrooms, no building codes. Or what about strawbale houses, in cold climates, building code approved, 3 bedrooms, earthquake zone, sorted by cost from cheapest to most expensive. See the power?

    Now imagine another tab on the menu bar. Another database, very similar to the GARAGE or the diy house database, but this database is COUNTIES WITH FEW OR NO BUILDING CODES. Instead of a blog post with lots and lots of comments, imagine organizing all that information, and allowing the individuals commenting to input what they learn about their own respective counties. Any reader of this website could enter a county into the database and fill in as many fields as they have knowledge about. Appropriate fields for septic codes, composting toilets allowed, whether rubble trench foundations are allowed, permit fees, etc. etc. etc. Let the readers of this website input the appropriate data.

    After viewing the GARAGE on the diyelectriccar website, take a look at their wiki.

    Again, imagine that wiki containing information about building natural houses instead of electric cars. Everything from plans and drawings, to instructions to build a reciprocal roof frame. How to select a site. How to grade a site. As the wiki grows, people with expertise on every aspect of building can contribute and update the wiki. Someone with a lot of experience on green roofs might write that section, while someone with experience on pallet wood shingles, might write a section about how to do that.

    Next thing you know, if enough people contribute, you have a full encyclopedia about how to build a house, complete with links to projects that have been built, videos, and photos of projects during construction and after completion.

    For what it’s worth, I think that is a worthwhile model to think about in creating a wiki environment for natural building.

    Note… it puts the diy builder as the primary content supplier in a very organized and powerful way.

    Nobody should expect a full featured website and wiki to be written in a day, but every day as each person adds his/her own little bit, the knowledge base grows and grows.

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